High speed data-re­lay satel­lites that use lasers. This is the fu­ture.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

In the skies above us, data is be­ing streamed be­tween satel­lites at an in­cred­i­ble rate us­ing lasers. From its 2016 launch to ear­lier this year, the Air­bus and Euro­pean Space Agency pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship called the Spacedatahighway (aka the Euro­pean Data Re­lay Sys­tem, if you’re feel­ing less dra­matic) has es­tab­lished 10 000 con­nec­tions. These data trans­mis­sions come from low-or­bit ob­ser­va­tion satel­lites, and are then re­layed across the EDRS con­stel­la­tion to the rel­e­vant ground sta­tion.

1,8 Gbps The trans­mis­sion speed of the Spacedatahighway 500 TB The amount of data that has been down­loaded us­ing the sys­tem.

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